Report from the EP event “Take Whole grain Seriously! Make your grains whole: for your and the planet’s health”

On the occasion of the first edition of the International Whole Grain Day, on 19 November, 2019, the Whole Grain Initiative hosted a launch event at the European Parliament in Brussels alongside MEP Elsi Katainen (FI, Vice-Chair of AGRI Committee). The event explored how policymakers and stakeholders can work together to encourage more people to ‘make their grains whole’ as part of healthy and sustainable dietary patterns.

The event gathered researchers and policymakers to highlight the positive impact of whole grains on nutrition, wellbeing, and sustainability. The panel brought together a number of leading stakeholders and Member States comprising the Italian Society for Cardiovascular Prevention (SIPREC), National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland, European Public Health Alliance, Slovenian Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises and the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation.

During the panel discussion it was highlighted that increasing the daily intake of whole grains to 30-40g reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by up to 20%. The disease is estimated to cost the EU economy more than €210 billion a year and therefore places a considerable burden on healthcare systems and government budgets.

Despite the health benefits of whole grains, their consumption in Europe remains low. Studies from the EU suggest the majority of Europeans eats less than one serving of whole grain per day, and that only 5% of the grains consumed in Europe are whole.

One such lifestyle change is a switch to whole grains, which experts agree would considerably lower the incidence of CVD and other major chronic diseases, thus having considerable social and economic effects. 

Please read more regarding the event here

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